Meet Aaron Watts

Aaron Watts with mum Jen and John Brookes

“When our son Aaron was two months old we noticed that he had a squint and our health visitor referred us to an orthoptist. Aaron’s eyes were also cloudy and occasionally watery; they were sensitive to light and he often rubbed or clamped them shut.

“We walked into the orthoptist appointment optimistically thinking Aaron’s eyes might need glasses or patches, but when the orthoptist appointment triggered a next day referral to a specialist I realised something was seriously wrong. That night I couldn’t resist some googling. Every result pointed to childhood glaucoma, but it also said that it was very rare – affecting just 1 in 10,000 babies. We tried to stay positive and hoped for the best.

“However our fears were confirmed: Aaron had congenital glaucoma. The specialist was quick to point out that there were a number of treatment options because Aaron’s eyes were still developing and ‘stretchy’. He referred us to Moorfields Eye Hospital.

“Here we met John Brookes, Aaron’s glaucoma consultant and surgeon. John was candid and explained that he would be performing a new type of surgery on Aaron – a 360 degree trabeculotomy to open up the Schlemm’s canals in the eye to help the excess fluid drain away.

“This wouldn’t be an easy operation, partly because babies’ eyes are so small and partly because the canals aren’t always properly formed in babies of Aaron’s age.

“Luckily John was able to perform the operation fully. The pressure in Aaron’s eyes started to drop almost immediately. The staff at the Richard Desmond Children’s Eye Centre are wonderful people. We couldn’t have asked for a more caring, professional team to look after our baby.”

Read more about the Richard Desmond Children's Eye Centre in 'Transforming lives for 10 years'.